Des McAnuff Musical Adapation of The Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi” Première Updates

An ambitious technological production, Des McAnuff and The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots will be a major multimedia work complete with a live rock band, light projections, dancing, aerial choreography and high tech puppetry (by Basil Twist, a famous puppeteer). U.C. San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse announced last March the world première of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots will be November 6, 2012.  At the start of the summer they confirmed it will play in Mandell Weiss Theatre and released a promo poster (right).  In August tickets went on sale, and in September the cast was announced.  Fuller details are below (listed under the date of the update) and additional news is coming SOON
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September 7, 2012
The full cast and crew has been announced.”Yoshimi” will be played by Kimiko Glenn.  Pictured above via her impressive site, she starred last spring in the Playhouse’s “The Nightingale.”Ben, the male lead, is Paul Nolan.The cast was detailed today by “La Jolla Playhouse will bring back a number of actors from its past productions — including Tom Hewitt from “Dracula” and Paul Nolan from “Jesus Christ Superstar” —- for its upcoming world premiere production of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” Directed by former Playhouse artistic director Des McAnuff, the anime-inspired musical features music and lyrics by the art rock band The Flaming Lips… Starring as Yoshimi is Kimiko Glenn, who stole the show in the Playhouse’s “The Nightingale” this past summer as the materialistic princess with an attitude. Hewitt (who was also featured in “Zhivago” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”) plays Dr. Peterson. Nolan (who played Jesus in the Stratford Shakespeare production that visited La Jolla last year in a pre-Broadway warmup) plays the character Ben…Other cast members include “Superstar” alumni Mary Antonini, Laurin Padolina, Jaz Sealy, Jason Sermonia and Julius Sermonia. Pearl Sun (seen at the Playhouse in “The Seven”) stars as Mrs. Yasukawa, and also featured is Albert Guerzon (who appeared in the McAnuff-directed “The Wiz”)…McAnuff has also cast seven San Diego-area actors for the ensemble: Richard Bulda, LaMae Caparas, Jonny Wexler, Chelsea Diggs-Smith, Christopher Cortex, Katie McGehee and Jack Mikesell…McAnuff’s production is designed by many of his regular collaborators, including musical supervisor Ron Melrose (“Jersey Boys,” “The Wiz); choreographer Bradley Rapier (“Jesus Christ Superstar:); set designer Robert Brill (“Jesus Christ Superstar,” “The Wiz”; costumer Paul Tazewell (“Jesus Christ Superstar”); sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy (“Jersey Boys”) and projection designer Sean Nieuwenhuis (“Jesus Christ Superstar”). Michael Walton will design lighting. Basil Twist will design puppets.”

August 20, 2012

Tickets for Des McAnuff and The Flaming Lips’ musical Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots world premiere run at La Jolla Playhouse November/ December 2012 are on sale now, here (or call 858-550-1010).
All showings are available and priced $48-$58.

July 18, 2012
a) Des McAnuff and The Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi” musical now has an official page at It confirms the première will be at U.C. San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse in Mandell Weiss Theatre on November 6, 2012. There’s not much other info up yet, but you can click on the “venue” tab to learn more about The Mandell Weiss Theatre…

b) There’s an official banner/poster for the musical (see top of page, right)

c) YOU (or your musical actor friends) can be in Yoshimi!
Submit photo and resume for NYC appointments to Auditions start in August and (if you’re selected) the first rehearsal is September 18th….

The New York casting call lists the characters, and the San Diego audition reveals yet more info:

Yoshimi Yasukawa is involved in a war between her boyfriends, Ben Nickel and Booker. Before that gets resolved she finds herself fighting for her life. “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” is a magical story that takes place in the modern world and simultaneously on a science fiction
landscape where there is an army of pink robots. It is a story of love and the struggle for survival. It will be an ambitious technological production featuring singing, dancing, and puppetry.”

20’s – 30’s. Seeking excellent dancers who are strong singers/actors. Dance style is a mix of contemporary/modern and ‘street’ hip-hop. Acro/tumbling, martial arts and/or puppeteering experience a plus.”

Please come ready to dance – bring jazz shoes/dance sneakers. Please also prepare 16 bars of an alt-rock/Indie-pop style song, ala The Flaming Lips: ie. Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Jefferson Airplane, Beck, R.E.M, psychadelic-era Beatles in the event you are asked to stay and sing. Please bring sheet music, an accompanist will be provided. Please also prepare a brief contemporary monologue. Auditions are by invitation only. To submit for this project, email your headshot and resume to by July 20th.”

“Rehearsals Start: September 18, 2012
Performances Start: November 6, 2012
Opening: November 16, 2012
Closing: December 16, 2012

The “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” backstory – in development since 2003 – is here


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